Updated: Jul 9, 2020
One thing that comes with losing your hair… online research, and a lot of it. Of course, you are just doing what any smart person would do: trying to find a solution to their problem. Unfortunately in the case of hair loss, people tend to take advantage of this.
There is no doubt that throughout your hair loss research you have come across credible information about treatments such as minoxidil or finasteride, but you have almost certainly also come across a lot of frauds and gimmicks. Claims such as “regrow your hair overnight!” or “instantly reverses balding!” are all too common in the hair loss world, and this has justifiably caused many people to be extremely skeptical of any unproven hair loss treatment.
The inversion method is one of those unproven treatments, but it actually may be credible, as opposed to the treatments that overpromise and under deliver. Although articles written about the inversion method often claim to be able to “grow one inch per week”, I am here to tell you that those claims are unfounded. The problem with claims like that is that it not only makes people very skeptical, but it may even turn some people away. But, there is lots of promise behind the inversion method, and I am writing this article to explain why you shouldn’t just brush it off as another gimmick, I mean heck it helped save my hair.
What is the inversion method?
The name sort of speaks for itself. The inversion method is essentially where you hang your head upside down so it is below your heart. This is supposed to increase blood flow to your scalp and therefore boost hair growth.
People often suggest massaging oils into your scalp (coconut, avocado, castor, etc.) before inverting because they may help better deliver micronutrients to the hair follicles, not to mention that studies have shown scalp massages to help boost hair growth.
But, there have been no official studies done on the inversion method for hair growth. This means that there is no method or method(s) that have been proven to be effective yet. There are many claims about the most effective ways to invert like “do a headstand” and “4 minutes, twice a day, for one week each month”, but the reality is that these claims have no merit. Some of these may be good guidelines to follow (later in the article I will run you through a routine that has worked well for me), but the main takeaway should be that you need to get your head below your heart. How does this affect your hair you may ask?
How the inversion method affects hair growth
The scalp is the hardest place for the body to send blood to. This is because your scalp is the furthest point “upwards” from the heart, meaning your heart has to work extra hard, against the forces of gravity, to supply your scalp with blood.
Studies have shown lower blood flow to be linked with male pattern baldness. This is because vital oxygen and nutrients that your hair uses to grow are delivered through the blood, and when your hair follicles are depleted of them they cannot grow as thick or long as they normally would. When you use the inversion method, you are drastically increasing the blood flow to the scalp, therefore providing your hair follicles with the essential oxygen and nutrients that it needs to grow. The popular hair loss treatment minoxidil does essentially the same thing: it is a vasodilator, and therefore is just a different way of increasing blood flow. They both work the same.
Have you ever seen a kid hanging upside down on the monkey bars and their face gets all red? That’s the result of increased blood flow. Vellus hair (thin, short, unpigmented hair where your hair used to be) benefits greatly from increased blood flow, and with the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients can be nurtured back in to healthy terminal hair, essentially (slowly) reversing baldness.
Is it worth trying?
Absolutely, without a doubt. Though there is no scientific evidence supporting it, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. There is a seemingly endless amount of success stories on the internet about people re-growing hair with the inversion method, some of which even claim to grow two inches of hair a month (as reference: hair normally grow about ½ inch a month)! It is important to take these success stories with a grain of salt though. Everyone is different and you might not have the same reaction as other people.
Even though that all sounds great there are still some potential risks that you need to be aware of. Though there are no official safety guidelines (again because it hasn’t been studied) it is generally agreed that you should avoid the inversion method if you:
-have high blood pressure
-have back pain or a spinal injury
In addition, holding the position can potentially cause uncomfortable strain on your neck/back and/or cause dizziness. Stop immediately if you experience either of those symptoms and make sure to tell your doctor that you are using the inversion method on a regular basis.
There is a lot of potential upside and little downside to using the inversion method. Even though there have not been any official studies done on its effects for hair loss, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests that it may be able to boost circulation and hair growth.
I’m going to say it one last time: without any studies there cannot be any official guidelines to follow. This means that anything you hear people suggest online is to be taken lightly because none of it has been proven to be effective. Currently there is no most effective method, therefore you should find what works best for you.
I (Zeke) have been using the inversion method for almost two years now and I believe it has been a big contribution to the success of my hair regrowth. To wrap things up in this article, I am going to share ways that other articles suggest you should use the inversion method vs. what I do, so that you can form your own routine that works best for you.
Others: doing a handstand/headstand is the best way to invert because it results in the most blood flow
Me: I hang off the side of my bed and am still able to achieve the tingling sensation associated with blood flow
Others: Invert for at least 4 minutes once or twice a day
Me: 2-3 minutes twice a day
Others: Invert for one week at a time, once a month, or your hair will get “used to” the blood flow and it won’t be effective anymore
Me: I have been inverting every day, twice a day, for the last two years and have achieved great hair regrowth and still get the tingling sensation
Others: Massage oil in for 5 minutes before inverting
Me: No oil application, I always invert right after applying minoxidil foam (though I am considering starting oil application as it has many proven benefits)
Find a routine that works for you, stay consistent, and the inversion method may just be a game changer for your hair regrowth like it was for me.